Article ID: ISIJINT-2022-550
To elucidate the mechanisms of deformation and a state of plastic stability at the front of Lüders bands during a tensile test, metastable austenitic transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP) steels with different dislocation densities and ferritic steels were characterized via macroscopic-DIC-based stress–strain investigations and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). A direct correlation between stress–strain curves and measured strain distributions in the tensile specimen indicated that the Lüders front represents a transition region from a state of plastic instability to one of stability, whereby a general rule relating the Lüders strain ∆𝜀𝐿∗ and increments in the true stress in the Lüders band ∆𝜎𝐿∗ to a lower yield stress (𝜎𝑦0∗) can be described as 𝜎𝑦0∗=∆𝜎𝐿∗∆𝜀𝐿∗ irrespective of the amount of deformation-induced martensite in the band or crystal structure of the steel. The inclination angle of the Lüders front with respect to the tensile direction changed from 55° to 90° with a reduction in the measured strain ratio (-𝜀𝑦𝑦/𝜀𝑥𝑥) in the Lüders band, and the change agreed with the tendency calculated by the plasticity model, assuming the pure shear occurs under the minimum shear strain criterion. SEM observations of the sheet surface and the front cross-section in the TRIP steel showed the formation of multiple inclined ~20 μm-wide shear deformation zones that accompanied a reduction in thickness. All the observed geometrical characteristics of the Lüders front were qualitatively described by a mechanism involving minimizing the misalignment from the fixed tensile axis caused by ‘shear' deformation.